Instead of doing my usual weekly check-in on my stewardship of my week's specific resources, I want to talk about stewardship from a larger parenting perspective. BestestHusband and I led a discussion on the topic at church on Sunday. It's not because we have the answers or are experts on the topic, but because it is a topic of great concern to us.
How do we teach our children to be good stewards of the gifts that God gives them - their time, their talents, and their possessions?
In the group discussion on Sunday, it was discussed that children pay more attention to what they see us do than what we say they should do. "Do as I say, not as I do" doesn't work.
This is much easier said than done.
When children see us being stingy with our time and money, they are more likely to be stingy with their time and money. When we are impatient and unforgiving of others, they are more likely to be impatient and unforgiving. When they see us act on faith, not our own self-serving interests, they are more likely to live their faith.
So in other words, if we want our children to follow a lifestyle that propagates God's love, we have to do it first.
Dang. That's hard.
This is going to require some figuring out. Are we being good stewards? What do our children see when they look at our lifestyle?
Now that the girls are getting old enough to have discussions with, we can start to explain the rationales behind our decisions. We can explain why we don't spend as much money on vacations as some others do, and don't have a giant flat screen TV as some others do. We can explain why we feel it's important to go to church every Sunday. We can help them connect the dots between our actions and our faith. We just have to keep talking about it.
But we have to be careful. Because if we aren't consistent, they'll notice. And we can talk all day long about our beliefs, but if our actions don't match our words, all is for naught.
This is a scary thing. A very scary thing...